Saturday, July 31, 2010


So I was totally going to do a giant post about this, but realized that I forgot and did the last post (about disneyland) instead. But guess what? This is the 301st post on this blog! Crazy that I've found that much to share.

Anyway, I've been posting a bunch on my business blog, so if you're interested, check it out! There I've shared some of my recent thrifty finds, which have been awesome, and pics from this past Thursday's Twilight Concert downtown, which was also awesome.

Monday, July 26, 2010

brown bag.

Guess what? We're going to DISNEYLAND in less than two weeks! This trip is going to be epic. We're going with two other awesome couples. We'll be driving all together in a minivan, and sharing a hotel room, so it's a real good thing that everyone is so cool, definitely not going to be any "funny business."

We're staying one night in Vegas on the way west, and maybe I'll hit the slots, since this will be the first time I'll actually be old enough to gamble! I probably won't though. Mr. A is not so keen on the idea. Once in California, we'll have three days at Disneyland and California Adventure, a day at Universal Studios and the Price is Right, and a day at the San Diego Zoo. We'll also be spending time at the beach, of course!

I am so so so excited. The only things between me and California are two finals and two papers. And guess what? In 2012 there will be a CARS section in California Adventure! A is pretty sad that it won't be done for this trip, because it sounds pretty awesome.

We're especially looking forward to: swimming, boogie boarding, basking in the sunlight, making crazy shirts for the price is right (anyone know a funny six letter word we could spell out?), hippos at the zoo, Toy Story ride, and the tortilla factory! Yes yes yes. So excited.

Oh. I just remembered what I wanted to post about (hence the title), lunches. We're hoping to eat one packed lunch everyday, and I've been trying to think of things to pack Here's what I've thought of so far:
  • hummus and pita chips from Trader Joe's
  • pb&j
  • apples/bananas/other fruit
  • carrots
  • cheese and crackers, or string cheese
  • yogurt
  • nuts (my choice would be the toffee dark chocolate pistachios from Trader Joe's!)
Those are my thoughts so far. What else would you suggest from Trader Joe's? My experience there, while very good, is limited. Any other ideas are also welcome. I think we'll have a small fridge in our hotel. Maybe some of the pre-made cold dishes? Like pasta salad? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

cool runnings

I always thought that movie was funny, as a kid. Turns out there is a website called "Cool Running" with a training plan that is supposed to get you from your couch to running a 5k in just nine weeks. My work will (hopefully) be hosting a 5k in September, and I am determined to run, not walk, in it.

It is also part of my effort to lower my cholesterol to exercise more, and thought since I live by the Jordan River Parkway I thought running would be a good option.

So the first phase of the training plan is to run for 60 seconds, walk for 90, for 25 minutes. I've been trying to do this on our elliptical. It is hard to gauge how fast I'm really going on that thing, but I sure do like watching Netflix while I workout (lately it has been Pushing Daisies). I have noticed that I've gotten more of a workout doing the whole run some walk some thing, but thought I should give it a try outside, actually running.

Today I have the day off (thank you, pioneer ancestors, for having your own holiday) so I took the plunge. I wanted to do it on a non work or school day just in case it killed me or took a long time, so that I wouldn't be late for anything.

And how was it, you must be wondering? It was pretty good. I am definitely not ready for a running partner yet, unless they also enjoy taking walk breaks rather frequently, but am really excited for when I get to that point. I tried really hard to just take it slow when jogging, and tried to go a little further every time I felt like taking a walk break. I read some advice that said to not be embarrassed about walking, so I just did my best. My goal was to stay out for half an hour, and by the time I got home it was closer to a full hour (granted, probably half of it was walking!) and I was sweatier than I think I've ever been before (gross). Turns out real running is more difficult than spending time on the elliptical. Plus it got a little hot at the end.

I think my hips are going to be really sore. I also think I went about 3.5 miles, maybe a little more. I might try it again tomorrow.

Now I have some questions, for those of you who are runners.
  • If you go on a morning run, do you eat before you go, and if so, what?
  • Do you have a watch or pedometer thing that you especially like? (I'd like one that tracks time, maybe distance, maybe heart rate.)
  • Do you have a favorite running attire, especially for summer running?
  • Any good stretches you'd suggest, especially hip stretches?
  • Would you advise waiting a day between runs for me, a beginner?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

walking heart attack waiting to happen.


I went to the doctor last week. Had my cholesterol tested, just for fun. There is a family history of scarily high cholesterol in my family, traditionally in the men. My dad and two of my brothers have it, and other extended family members. Apparently the U of U did a whole study on my family about it. That being said, only two members of said extended family have had heart issues (one heart attack, on stent) and there is a general history of longevity and overall good health.

So anyway, my sisters have both tested low, so I was expecting low results as well, especially since I have changed my lifestyle along with A, since he tested high last year. I've written about all of it before, losing 20 lbs (25 on a good day) cutting almost all meat out of my diet, increasing intake of good fats (fish, nuts, avocados) and fiber, eating oatmeal every morning, and exercising more. I could probably improve, but feel pretty good about my lifestyle.

Well, I looked at the results last night, and got a concerned call from a nurse at my doctor's office, and here's why.

Overall Cholesterol: 272 (normal is 122-199)
LDL: 218 (normal is <100)
HDL: 37 (normal is 40-83)

There were more numbers listed, but I don't really know what they mean. My triglycerides are within the normal range, as well.

The doctor wanted me to come in to retest, my guess is he thought something got messed up (because seriously, how can it be that high?). I explained to the nurse my family history. She had me hold while she discussed with the doctor. In the end, I get to skip the second test and just go in for another appointment (I'm thinking, great, another $35) where he'll probably try to get me on drugs. I'll say no. Here's what I will do.

-Exercise more. Try to work up to 45 minutes 6 days a week instead of 20-30 minutes 0-5 times a week (usually about 4).
-Eat better. This means no more french fries at Apollo burger, orange chicken and noodles at Panda, and fried fish tacos at Rubios. It also means no more red meat. Regardless of its locality or quality of life. And no more baking, and no more indulging in too many desserts at family functions. It means self control.
-Continue eating oatmeal everyday. Lately this has been going well. For awhile I was on an irregular sleep schedule, not getting up at a consistent hour everyday. This made exercising and eating oatmeal (which takes time) more difficult. Now that I've normalized my schedule (eat oatmeal and be ready to get on the machine by 6:30 every morning) things have been going better. That is what I want to keep going.

I don't have a lot of hope that I'll be able to lower my cholesterol, but I am glad that I got tested and found out it is high. I feel like this is the kick in the pants that I really needed to push myself to be healthier. Since I lost a little weight I've become a little too comfortable. Sometimes I feel like I can eat whatever I want because of it, which is not building healthy habits. That is about to change, folks. Right after I eat this last Sour Patch Kid.

Monday, July 19, 2010

clothing exchange.

I sent this out as a message to some peeps on facebook (those in the Girl's Night group) and thought I'd extend the invitation to all three of you who read here. Really, really, anyone is welcome. So here it goes.

I've been doing some closet cleaning lately. I always feel bad sending things to the DI when I think that someone I know would appreciate a few of the items for FREE, so I'm thinking we should have a clothing exchange.

I'd like to do this soon, so please comment with when you are available! I'd be happy to host at my house.

If it turns out no one has anything to exchange, feel free to just come over and browse through my stash. Like I said, anything not claimed is going to the DI.

If you do want to bring clothes/shoes/jewelry/anything you want to exchange, let's set some ground rules:

1. Please only bring clean clothes. No one wants to smell your flowery scent (read: BO) or see what you had for lunch that one day last year all over that cute shirt.

That is the only rule I can think of. Anyway, let me know if you are interested and when you will be around Murray to come over!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

the results.

Dinner tonight was fantastic. I put the roasted carrots on the salad. The beets were too hot to peel in time for dinner, so they'll go on a salad later this week. I think the zucchini could have done without the elaborate lemon-butter sauce. I couldn't taste it at all, and would have been happy with a little olive oil, salt, and coarse pepper. Still good though! Also, notice the table? We finally finished it. It is on our front porch, and we eat out there all the time.

what do you do with chard?


We got some chard in our CSA a few weeks ago. I've never cooked with chard, and was at a bit of a loss at what to do with it. One quick recipe search turned up this recipe: Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta. Overall, I really liked it. I don't know if A liked it as much.

I did make some adjustments to the recipe. I started the onion and garlic first, before adding the chard, just to make sure the onion wouldn't be crunchy. I also let things cook longer than the recipe called for because I had to wait for the pasta to cook and such. If I get more chard and make this again, I'll probably omit the milk. The sauce was very runny, and I would have liked it better if it were thickened up. Flavor was great though!

on the menu tonight.

A and I both have homework today, so we'll be having Sunday dinner at home. Our fridge is bursting with produce from our CSA, which will make up the bulk of what we eat tonight. So far here's what I have planned:

Roasted Carrots
Roasted Beets
Grilled Zucchini
Big Green Salad with Salmon inspired by the one my mom had at Stella Grill last night (should I put the roasted veggies on the salad? What do you think? The salad from Stella Grill had roasted fingerling potatoes on it)
Delicious cookies from my sister (peanut butter and chocolate chip)
Our favorite fat free frozen yogurt (Umpqua brand, from Winco) with garden raspberries on top

I kind of can't wait till dinner time now. What are you eating tonight?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

please take note.

Hello everyone. Just a little notice, I've started a blog to keep track of ideas for the house A and I hope to build in the next two years. It is sort of my house "look book." I would love your input and ideas, suggestions and warnings, so if you want to put in your two cents, go here.

Also, if you find any particularly inspiring images, send them on over!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What She Wore

I've been following the blog "What I Wore" since the end of last year. At first I was totally obsessed. I spent hours looking through her blog archive just to see every outfit she'd ever posted, and thought every post was amazing. I then added her blog to my google reader, and have continued checking it everyday.

Recently things have changed. I've talked about it with my sister M, who also was an avid follower (we still refer to the author "Jessica" as if we were on a first-name basis with her). We agree that Jessica isn't relatable anymore. To me it just seems like one big advertisement, mostly for Modcloth, also for Coach. Every outfit seems to have a "courtesy of" element, and rarely are there vintage outfits anymore, which were my favorite anyway. Jessica is writing a book right now, with some clever title that involves "recipe" and "style" somehow. I just don't feel like she is as accessible to me anymore. I don't really care about coach bags and Ann Taylor freebies. She doesn't seem so unusual or cutting edge, more commercial and boring, and sometimes even a little sloppy. Everyday I consider removing What I Wore from my blog list, maybe one of these days I'll actually do it. I'm sure there are still many many people who still worship Jessica, and that is totally fine, I'm just saying I don't know if I want to be counted among them anymore.

Do you read WIW? What do you think?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

dream a little dream.

Some people have big important dreams that are meaningful and guide their life decisions. I have never been one of those people. Mine are often about being in high school and not going to a certain class at all till test day, feeling really nervous and wondering why I haven't been caught, or driving in a car where the steering is too hard to control and the brakes don't work. Last night I had a new dream. A baby dream.

In my dream, I had a newborn baby boy (perhaps because my bff just had a baby boy?) and his name was Jacob, after my brother. In my dream, I was very concerned that people would think that he was named after the werewolf in Twilight (perhaps because I recently heard that Jacob and Isabella are the most popular baby names right now?). Anyway, I was at some sort of family gathering with baby Jacob. He was so small and really cute, of course. Both of my grandmothers were there, as were my sisters and one of my cousins, who recently had a baby herself. They were all passing around baby Jacob, and when my cousin finally held him, she asked if I was worried about germs. I felt stupid for not asking people to use hand sanitizer. Every time he was passed along, he'd start to cry a little bit or just make some baby noises, but then calm right down, like a good baby. That's about it.

Anyway, I remember it being really important in this dream that my grandmothers meet baby Jacob. Today as I've been thinking about this dream, I've realized that there is a chance that my grandmothers won't meet my babies, depending on how much longer their bodies let them stay on this earth, and how much longer I wait to have babies. This made me really sad. I only ever met one great grandmother, my Grandma Zu. I see pictures of my other great-grandmothers holding my older siblings and feel a bit envious, like they had something special that I never had. I guess I just have to comfort myself by thinking that if my grandmas make it to heaven before my babies come, they'll still get to meet each other.

So here's my theory. This dream either means a.) my grandmas are going to live a real long time, at least three more years, b.) I'm not supposed to wait till I've finished grad school to have babies, as per my current plan, or c.) nothing at all. If it follows any trend, it is probably option c.

(PS- I tried to watch the movie "Dream a Little Dream" on Netflix, with Corey and Cory, but it was too weird and I gave up.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

recycle me.

I toured Rocky Mountain Recycling today, and learned a whole bunch. First, if you're like me, you think of recycling as "clean," since you aren't supposed to recycle anything yucky, just paper, cardboard, and clean plastic, right? Wrong! It was really smelly, and really dusty, and really cool.

Here's what else I learned, most things you think you can't recycle, you really can. For example, pizza boxes, grocery bags, seran wrap, tin foil, plastic baggies... all recyclable. No recycle symbol or number? No problem. Also, don't bother rinsing out your cans or your milk jugs. Pretty much don't rinse anything. However, don't put styrofoam in your bins, or boa-constrictors. They don't like those at the plant. Oh, and leave out the glass too.
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